Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Musical compartments

Read this rather laboured and problematic (because it compartmentalised people, though in a not-too-serious way) article in the Hindustan Times' Brunch the other day...

The article wasn't worth much, but it got me thinking. Music, after all, has been a major part of my life like every other person, and I have always found it hard to compartmentalise myself in this regard.

Let's flip back to when I was asked the question back in 1998, during a bizarre introductory session at the Mass Communication course I found myself part of in Delhi: "Uhh...Grateful Dead, I guess. A bit of Allman Brothers. Very little Pink Floyd. Santana. Dylan. Janis Joplin. Phish. That sort of stuff," I answered. Glad at the end of it to note that not many people in my class had even heard of these people.

Now, this was a complete lie. Well, not so much a lie as a completely un-thought-out answer. True, these were the people I had listened to most in the phase leading up to the change of address from Calcutta to Delhi. Aaah, those evenings of humming to Ripple in a semi-conscious chemical-induced haze. 50 bucks in total between 10 of us: Okay, let's get 10 Alzolams, one small packet of grass...should be good. Someone would turn up with a 50 buck note and our evening would be made. The music would be constant though.

Anyway...but prior to that, I had spent most of my time listening to Kishore Kumar and other less-able Hindi playback singers. I had also heard a whole lot of Bengali folk, qawwali, Bengali film songs, English pop...Western Classical, Hindustani Classical - the whole hog really. And I rather enjoyed, appreciated most of these varieties. Not the English pop variety much, but most of the rest.

I still do.

Now I am 30. I earn a decent salary working as a journalist in a big television network. I am as consumerist as most people with my salary. I wear decent clothes (by my yardsticks of course). I have a few health problems, so I don't drink or smoke much. I'd love to, like I used to, which usually amounted to a bottle of rum a day. I read. Quite a bit. A watch a lot of films - again, everything from David Dhawan to Sergei Eisenstein. And I enjoy and appreciate all these varieties.

So where do I fit in? Do I at all? Of course, it suits me fine if I don't. Aaah, a rebel. Cool.

But why compartmentalise at all? Just for the sake of two unfilled pages, which have to be accommodated because of the imbalance caused by a few additional adverts!

Doesn't work.